Authentication: Pre-Populating Name and Email

Prepopulating survey questions with embedded data can give your respondents ease of use and flexibility. For example, if you want students to fill out survey, you can prepopulate it with their official first name, but allow them to change it if they prefer to go by a different name.

Once you have set up authentication and captured identifying information, prepopulating questions in your survey is easy. Just enter a default value using Qualtrics’ embedded data format:


Step by Step Instructions

  1. In Edit Survey, go to the question you want to prepopulate.
  2. Click the gear symbol on the left side of the question. Select Add Default Choices.
  3. Beside the field you want to prepopulate, click the blue arrow.
  4. Hover over Embedded Data Field, then either type the embedded data label or click the blue box ▼ and choose from the list of embedded data labels currently associated with the survey.
  5. Click Insert. Qualtrics will copy the embedded data format into the field. For example: ${e://Field/your-embedded-data-label}
  6. Click Save.

Example Configuration


If you find that your default choices are not prepopulating the way you predicted, try these tips:

  • In the Survey Flow,
    • Make sure that you have moved all of your question blocks below the Authentication element and that each block is indented to the right of the Authentication element. Question blocks that are below and indented will only be displayed once the respondent information has been captured. If a question block is below but NOT indented, then that block will be available to everyone, which means the respondent information might not have been captured.
    • Verify the SAML2 Identifier was entered accurately in the Authenticator. Make sure that there are no leading or trailing spaces. Sometimes it helps to retype it.
    • Verify that none of your embedded data label names are each unique and do not include spaces or special characters.
  • In Edit Survey,
    • Did you just type the embedded data label into the survey field as they appear in the Edit Survey view? Remember that you need to click on the Gear symbol beside the survey question and choose “Add Default Choices” prepopulate fields. No shortcuts!
    • In the “Add Default Choices” menu, clear all results and then save. Then, go back in and re-add the default choices using the step-by-step logic above.
    • Verify that the embedded data label you are using as a default choice matches the embedded data label you used in the Authenticator element.
  • Are changes you make to your survey not being saved? Clear your browser’s cache, close the browser, and re-open it and that should allow changes to be saved moving forward.

Learn how to restrict access to survey based on OSU directory information.